5 Reasons to Stop Playing Videos Games and Engage Deeply in Life
December 5, 2016 5:00 AM EST | 6 min read
Playing video games may begin as an innocent hobby, but can turn into your comfort zone where you try to escape reality.
It can become an addiction, and you may unconsciously leave all other aspects of life behind.
If we engage our mind in something for a long time every day, it becomes our new reality.
Even if it’s not quite productive, healthy or positive, the consequences are bad.
You won’t recognize the signs of this happening until the results are too big to ignore.
It may be others telling you that you have a problem with video games, the total lack of social life, health problems due to spending many hours sitting, failing in your studies, ruining a relationship by completely neglecting your partner, not moving on with your life when it’s time for a change, etc..
To make sure that doesn’t happen and you keep enjoying every day and making the most of it, here’s exactly why you should get rid of the video game addiction.
(When done, check out our tips on getting rid of your cell phone.)
1. You’re missing out on life.
The more you fall in love with playing video games, the more you forget about anything else going on.
What’s worse, you put off doing important things, skip events and special moments with friends and family, don’tenjoy interactions with women, miss deadlines, and even procrastinate on your big goals in life.
But life is happening right NOW.
You may be saying you’ll do things later and find comfort thinking everyone will be waiting for you, that things will be the same after you finish playing your game, but that’s not true.
Relying on the future is an excuse you make to put off living your life today.
Doing this many times in a row, means you’ve missed a lot.
You risk turning your life into a waiting room, where you never actually take action, but only tell yourself you’ll do so.
That’s the effect of playing video games.
It’s your job to open your eyes and realize how this hobby is preventing you from spending your time in a better way.
2. It changes how you see things.
First and foremost, that’s because most video games are violent.
If not, they still affect your way of thinking – negatively.
Just like being the child of parents who are always fighting, being in a bad environment, or spending time with the wrong people, changes you from the inside.
So do video games have a bad effect on you.
By being exposed to what a developer once created to get children (and people of all ages) addicted, you’re letting the characters and the world of the game take control of how you perceive reality.
As you’ll eventually spend more time playing than being outside or communicating with real people, what you see in the game will be the foundation of your new beliefs and principles in life.
There’s a reason why so many games have age limits.
3. You’re not learning anything.
Gamers often say that every video game teaches you valuable life lessons.
But that’s yet another aspect of the illusion they live with.
A book can teach you a lot, yes.
It engages your mind in creative ways, lets you read between the lines, and help you generate ideas.
Trying new things in life teaches you a lot about success and failure, shows you your limits, makes you more patient, responsible, and better prepared.
Beating your insecurities and meeting new people is also good for your learning process.
Anyone can teach you something, even if it’s how NOT to live life.
But video games aren’t a way to learn valuable life lessons, or any skill, really.
So don’t put that in the ‘yes’ column of your pros and cons list.
4. Playing video games is bad for your mental health.
One of the most common symptoms is not sleeping well: be it not being able to fall asleep once in bed, having nightmares, waking up in the middle of the night, being groggy in the morning, or all of these.
The evening should be your wind-down period.
Playing video games ruins your peace of mind and you just can’t sleep.
As a result, because your mind and body don’t get the rest they need, you’re exhausted the next day.
You can’t focus well or make good decisions.
That affects your work performance – which may lead to losing your job.
If you’re a student, it’s a surefire way to fail your tests as you just can’t remember anything anymore and are too distracted and tired.
There’s more to this, though.
A study shows that this addiction can lead to actual mental health problems.
When talking about young people, it interferes with their development, too.
5. You can’t enjoy life anymore.
The fake excitement playing video games gives you, which doesn’t last long, makes you seek it in everything else you do in reality.
At some point, you can’t seem to fully experience socializing, eating good food, watching a movie, spending quality time with family, going for a walk, drinking coffee in the morning, or reading something.
All these things that once felt nice, are now boring, not good enough, and only make you want to get back to playing your favorite game.
Don’t let that happen.
Don’t lose that connection with yourself that lets you see what life really is.
Enjoy every moment without trying to change anything.
Before video games become a big part of your life, you’re free, have reasons to smile, appreciate the little things in life, and are kind and positive.
But if you let them become a daily thing, you risk losing all this.
I believe these reasons should be enough to let you see the truth about how playing video games is ruining your health, peace of mind, relationships, and ability to exceed and achieve goals.
What can you do today to get over this and engage more deeply in real life instead?
December 5, 2021 at 1:05 AM
I’ve been playing video games my whole life until I’ve decided to quit around Q1 of 2021. That might be the best decision I’ve have ever taken. I did procrastinate things more then I realize now. Such as turning down friends, working out, walking, reading useful books and articles, studying and basically taking care of myself less. I gained some weight too. I think I’ve realized gaming was causing some problems 2 years ago. It was not until the summer of 2021 I had the “talk”. I didn’t want to play video games anymore, they were not essential. And I had to quit it was and still is hard to quit. I’ve switched to Linux because of the hassle to run video games and dropped watching gaming videos and streams because they were almost making me relapse. I don’t have any social media accounts and now I don’t play video games. It’s not until you really realize what’s happening with your life when you take them out for a while. Video games are awesome, but if I wanted myself to get back on track, I had to stop playing for a while. Right now, after I’m tired of studying or doing some work, I don’t run to play video games anymore. I read, workout, clean my room, listen to some music etc. And that’s my story for now. I still think of playing video games, but less. I mean I’ve been playing them my whole life. If you’re reading this and deciding if you should quit or not, I’d say don’t play for a while. Take a month off maybe. Who nows what’s going to happen and it’s kind of exciting
Gaymers Get Angry At The Truth
September 11, 2021 at 6:28 AM
Everyone, realize how the gamer commentors are so upset to be called out. They lash at the author with lame insults learned from their internet culture and it’s just such a joy to watch. “VIDEO GAMES AREN’T A WASTE OF TIME, YOU ARE!”. What absolute children!
July 17, 2021 at 2:45 PM
Well, I am going to agree with the author. This is my SUBJECTIVE opinion, not scientific study but a study nonetheless, of my own character/ being. I play video games since I was 10. In my childhood my parents somewhat controlled how long I played but I got very imaginative how to play games without their knowledge. I think games are addictive and it simply happened to me, I concluded that because I realized the symptoms I had. I never lost control over my life like it happens with many people but I feel I lost countless opportunities in life. Just one example, in my childhood I was exceptional at drawing, I drew really a lot. I was considered the best in school. If in art class somebody got A, I always got 2x A because I was clearly outclassing anybody else. After I got my first computer in 2000, I was 10. I simply didn’t feel a need to create anything. Any desire that I had to create something artistically was gone because I had better visualization of my “dreams and desires” on my screen. 15 years later I went back to art and I actually became an artist but to tell the truth, I am not exceptional anymore – I try to be competitive. The lost opportunity is that if I didn’t lose 15 years on video games but focused on art, I could have become an incredible artist and much sooner. That’s one, simple but big example from my life how video games negatively influenced it. In recent few years I try to consciously cease gaming all together and I am fairly successful but not totally. I can withhold gaming for few months only to come back to it in a bad day and I usually carry on like that for a week or two until I find motivation to uninstall all games again. The thing is that I observed changes in my behavior in my gaming periods. I am generally less patient, easy to annoy, I don’t enjoy simple things in life because my head is full of ideas about video games. In general, I am a kind of person that if I have something in heart, desire something I focus 100% on it. If I want to create art, I comit 100% of everything I got, I can work on something all night and not feel any exhaustion, this apply to everything I find passion for and when I feel passionate about video games, I cannot focus on anything else. Except, even there is a difference. If I create something, I can find some sort of balance and even though I can still forget about other people, I never feel irritated when I am approached by others who interrupt and I still enjoy every moment in life fully. I actually feel great when I drink a tea or prepare a breakfast feeling accomplished while I feel drained after gaming sessions and I can easily skip breakfast anyway because I feel a need to go back to games. I never traveled a lot but when I started to put effort to stop gaming, to fill the emptiness I began to go to places and I really love it. I look forward when I save enough money to organize a trip to actively catch more inspiration for my art but when I go through my ‘down’ time in gaming period I don’t feel a need to go anywhere even though traveling is something so incredible I struggle for words to describe how great and uplifted I feel on my travels compared to when I play video games. Some may say: “it’s you, not video games, don’t blame a tool for the wrong way you are using it.” You’re right about the point (I could argue that entertainment industry is OBJECTIVLY harmful for anybody but not now) Let’s step back and examine something completely different, to get a perspective. Whose fault it is that people are obese? Mainly obese people are at fault – yes! Not only though. I don’t want to point that its sugar’s fault, it’s not but maybe huge corporations with their invasive advertisement? – Yes, in part. Maybe difficulties in life that caused a person to eat unhealthy extensively? – In part, yes. What about work, the fact that people sit all day in their offices under stress and need to let it out so they turn to eating too much? – Partly yes, our whole society and our western culture full of consumptionism has many struggles that are partly at source of people falling into addictions of any sort.
I don’t want to make it too long but want to add that TV, Video Games and Music industry are the same in that respect, they are addictive and they can subconsciously program people and change their behavior, their whole character. It happened that games became my weak spot; I never was interested in music or movies too much so, when I realized what it is, it wasn’t hard to abandon those two to enjoy my life more but I struggle to leave video games completely behind. I do want to succeed and in time it will happen.
Jonah D Abenhaim
January 19, 2021 at 1:26 PM
I feel like the same could be applied to reality shows and other forms of entertainment itself
but that’s not the point, video games as a whole can bring in creativity and will always be a part of our lives.
September 27, 2019 at 10:18 AM
The author does not force you to stop playing video games, he just gives you advice. If you do not like it let it go and stop the hate.
August 27, 2019 at 11:32 PM
You’re an idiot and you should feel like one
Soumyadeep Roy Chowdhury
August 27, 2019 at 4:49 AM
Only a half-witted highly-opinionated person can write such a piece of crap. I have been a gamer since I was in school in 90s and still play on PS4/Xbox/PC. I got myself an engineering degree, an MBA, a job, 3 girl-friends and the 3rd ones is my wife now, I have a 4-year-old child now. I have friends, I have family, I have a life, but gaming has never come in the way. So you can cork it.
June 29, 2019 at 10:55 PM
Wow, couldn’t believe what I read. I play nearly everyday and I’ve never thought while playing them that they represent or are reality. I’m pretty old and have slowed down since my PS2 days. I found time to socialize (to a degree) and my grade nearly that of a validictorian. Dating was a problem, but I never felt all the worse for wear. Videogames and the internet was there. And because of that I never really felt depressed or lonely.